News from Sydenham P.S.

September 5, 2021

Almost there!

Only 2 more sleeps until school starts! We are very excited to see all the students and have them back in our beautiful little limestone school building again. Many thanks to our caretaking team who have put a beautiful shine and polish on the school and have us clean and ready to go. Check out the gleam on the gym floor!

We have been working hard as a staff to create a supportive plan for students and families to enter the new school year in a positive and safe way, under the health and safety guidelines provided by LDSB and the KFL&A Public Health Unit. We will plan to navigate unforeseen challenges as they come our way. Health and safety, along with wellness and mental health of our school community, continues to be a priority as we return to school to re-connect and re-engage in learning together.

During this last week before school gets going, as we do every year, we have changes to our school numbers in terms of student registrations. We are happy to welcome a number of new families to Sydenham this year. The changes in registrations have necessitated a shift in our class placements, in that we needed to balance the numbers in our junior/intermediate classes. We continue to have a 5/6 class with Ms. Reid and Ms. Chung's class is now a grade 6/7/8 class. All familes of grade 6 students moving to Ms. Chung's class have been contacted by the school.

Below you will find some general information about what to expect on the first day of school (and beyond!) as well as information for drop-off/pick up, COVID safety protocols and how to stay connected using a variety of communication tools used by the school and by the LDSB.

We are looking forward to seeing everyone in person soon. We are excited to say "welcome back" to our families that have been with us already, and if you are new to Sydenham P.S., you have joined a wonderful school community - we can't wait to get know you better! Our active and dynamic School Advisory Council (SAC) is always keen to welcome new members. Check out the information below about our first SAC meeting of the school year on Tuesday Sept. 21st. We hope to see you there! Please do not hesitate to connect with the school should you have any questions as we start the new school year -we are here to help :)


Mrs. Diamond and Mrs. Marshall

School Advisory Council

Next SAC Meeting - Tuesday, September 21, 4:30 p.m. (Zoom)

All parents are welcome and invited to join our School Advisory Council. You will have the oppotunity to connect with a fun and dynamic group of people, hear the latest Sydenham and LDSB news, and be part of the community that supports our kids. No previous experience is necessary! Meeting dates for the year will be set at our first meeting, and meetings take place monthly. We strongly encourage parents and caregivers to join us once a month to help make important school-based decisions and keep informed on the latest Sydenham happenings. The link for September's virtual School Advisory Council meeting booked for September 21st at 4:30 is below.

You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: Sep 21, 2021 04:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

School Hours

8:55 Morning entry bell

8:55-10:35 Instructional block (100 minutes)

10:35- 10:50 Morning recess

10:50-11:40 Instructional block (50 minutes)

11:40-12:00 Student lunch time

12:00-12:40 Lunch Recess

12:40-2:20 Instructional block (100 minutes)

2:20-2:35 Afternoon recess

2:35-3:25 Instructional block (50 minutes)

Student Drop Off and Pick Up

  • Parents are reminded that there is no parking directly in front of the school as this area needs to remain clear. Emergency vehicles would need access to the front gates and please avoid parking in front of the fire hydrant.
  • Please do not stop in the middle of the street to let your students out. This causes traffic back-ups and bottle necks that compromise the safety of pedestrians and other drivers.
  • On the first day of school, you will see signs posted as to where each class lines up. These haven't changed from last year, with the exception of us now having a grade 3/4 class which will line up by the chain link fence on the south side of the primary yard.
  • Parents are asked to drop students off independently where possible. For younger/new students, parents may come on to the school yard during the initial days to drop off/pick up their child, but must leave immediately and may not congregate. Social distancing will be expected.
  • Students are expected to go directly to their designated line up spots, by class. Orange dots have been painted on the pavement to help students keep their physical distance while in line. Red tags on the chainlink fence have been provided for the 3/4 class to help with lining up, physically distant.
  • Please drop off as close to 8:55 as possible. Supervision begins at 8:40 a.m.
  • At the end of the day, students will be dismissed via the same entry doors as in the mornings. If parents/caregivers are already waiting, or if older students walk home by themselves, students may proceed directly to the gates. Any students who may need to wait a minute or two to be picked up will gather in the front of the school.
  • Please pick up as close to 3:25 as possible. Staff supervision after school is finished at 3:40. Any students who are not picked up by 3:40 will be brought back into the school so that we can contact parents/caregivers.

Recess Cohorts

As we did last year, our yard will divided into recess "zones", with zones on the primary (west) side of the yard, and the junior/intermediate (east) side of the yard. Each class (cohort) is to remain in their respective recess zones. Zones rotate through the day so that each class has time in each of the primary or each of the junior/intermediate zones of the yard.

Students will be encouraged to wear their masks at recess. Students may remove their masks outside as long as they maintain their physical distance.

Safe Covid Practices - Traffic flow, hand washing and more

  • Class cohorts will have a designated entry/exit door. Sanitizer will be at every door.
  • Handwashing breaks will be ongoing throughout the day
  • Educators will be taking their class outside as often as they can to allow for a masking break and to do outdoor learning activities
  • Bathrooms will have a maximum occupancy capacity based on the square footage of the bathroom. Students will always be allowed to use the bathroom, but may need to wait to ensure physical distancing in the smaller space
  • Signage and floor decals are posted throughout the building to remind students of how to travel safely within the school and reminders to wear a mask, sanitze, stay distanced.
  • Each classroom at Sydenham PS now has an air purifier unit. Ventilation systems have been reviewed and are in good order.
  • Staff and students will wear masks while indoors, with the exception of eating times. Kindergarten students are strongly encouraged to wear masks while indoors as well.
  • Extra cleaning of touchpoints and other high traffic areas is continuing as was in place last year from our caretaking team.

What to Bring

Along with their excitement, creativity, imagination and positive energy, students may to wish to bring a few other items in their backpacks. We ask that all toys remain at home and only necessary items are brought to school. Families are encouraged to label everything (including masks) as our lost and found fills up quickly each year.

  • Refillable water bottle. Fountains are closed, but water refill stations are open
  • Masks are mandatory for students in Grades 1- 8, and encouraged for Kindergarten students. We encourage students to bring several masks each day, if possible (if a student forgets to bring a mask, or needs a fresh one, we will provide one).
  • Hand sanitizer is provided in each classroom and at each door, but students may wish to bring their own
  • School supplies are provided (pencils, erasers, crayons etc)
  • Bring a healthy lunch and snacks
  • Wear appropriate shoes for running and playing (no flip flops). Students should bring indoor shoes, although while the weather is nice, they may not be required to change shoes.
  • Appropriate clothing wear for outdoor play or waiting to safely enter the building
  • Younger students (Kindergaten or early primary) may be asked to bring a spare change of clothes that can be kept at school.

School Messenger App

If you are new to our school, please take the time to download the School Messenger App to stay connected and report student absences. If you wish to receive our Sydenham PS newsletters, please follow the instructions for selecting email as one of your preferences. We have provided a video below to assist you.
LDSB SchoolMessenger App Tutorial: How to Sign Up & Log In

Return to School Information from the Limestone DSB

Please click the thumbnail photo or the link below for the latest from the Limestone District School Board website.

SPS Staff 2021-22

Lori Bryson/Erin Gray - JK/SK

Sarah McCourt - Grade 1/2

Jenn Davey - Grade 2/3

Nicole Onyskiw - Grade 3/4 (pronounced "on - iss - cue")

Melanie Reid - Grade 5/6

Margaret Chung - Grade 6/7/8

Bruce Emmerton - Core French and Planning time

Alexandra Boese - Planning time

Angela Brockwell - Educational Assistant (partial afternoons)

Cathy Warren - Educational Assistant (afternoons)

Irene Kuipers - Educational Assistant

Holly Reichstein - Office Administrator

Keith Webster - Head Custodian (shared with Central P.S.)

Adam Orozco - Custodian

Sara Marshall - Vice Principal/Student Support Teacher

Dawn Diamond - Principal

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